If you're like the single income mortgagees working on our team, you have read a million articles on how to stretch a penny and make your money last until the next pay day.

Inevitably (we've seen it a million times), the first point on most of those articles is 'live within your means'. It is this point that has inspired us to pen this article.

For many of us, 'living within our means' when we are on one income or a reduced income, with more expenses than ever before is obvious. We. Don't. Need. To. Read. It. Again.

The real question is -- how do you live within your means and actually make it work when your mortgage and your mandatories (feeding and clothing kids for instance) eat up the vast majority of those means?

Well, here are a few hints from our team, our friends and those we know who seem to take a dollar and get a hundred dollars of value from it.

1. Live within your means... JUST KIDDING! Budget like a bandit!

A lot of these ' how to save' lists also include a point on how to make a budget. Cool. Check. Income in. Costs out. But when money doesn't stretch far enough to cover what you need, and you don't want to lose the house or start eating gruel, getting your budget to balance out can be a whole new challenge!

This is where the internet and excel comes in.

One of the biggest challenges we have with how we live financially, is conditioning. Whether it's the small things or the large -- the people we know, the experiences we've had and the things we've seen teach us how to handle money.

No, this doesn't just relate to whether we shop too much or reward ourselves with new shoes. This actually goes right down to product preference.

As an example, one of our team members has a parent who only ever purchased a particular brand of rice as she was growing up. They bought a lot of other home brand products, but her parents taught her rice is not to be comprised on. Now as an adult, every time she shops for rice, she buys this same brand... for $3 more that the home brand rice.

In the scheme of things, $3 may not seem much, but everything adds up. One dollar here, a couple there and soon it's a hundred dollars a week. If you start to review, this applies to so many things... toilet paper, washing powder, sanitary products.

When creating your budget, first rule is to audit your current spending on a granular level. What practices can you change that really make no difference to you at all but save you money. Explore new brands, suppliers, ask friends and forums, and save yourself a dollar here and a dollar there until it's that elusive hundred! And for Pete's sake, the home brand rice is just fine!

2. How much space do you really need? Share space, save money!

In Australia, our home size in terms of square meter value, is on average, literally the biggest in the world -- take that America, with your property developer president!

What this means is we have found a way to expand into and use space we actually don't really need.

Assess your house, your yard, your garage -- do you have spare space? Could someone else use it? Would they pay you for the pleasure?

Consider options like renting out one of your rooms to a student (international students are great as they often keep to themselves), renting out one of your parking spaces, or even investing slightly (it is a spend, but it comes back!) in a small granny flat in your ample backyard which will offer you weekly rental return!

3. Sell your old stuff -- a few minutes can earn you big dollars!

Gumtree, MarketPlace, AirBnB, it doesn't matter what you use, it matters what you have to offer!

In many cases, if you haven't purchased your home on a single income, you may be in this position because circumstances have changed. Perhaps your relationship has changed and you're now on your own, or maybe your household has expanded with a baby.

If the latter is true, while you are likely spending a fortune on all things baby, you can absolutely make some of that money back!

Due to the demanding nature of our schedules, as baby grows up, many parents will buy new things, and either store old stuff for the next child, throw it out or donate it. And while donating it is great, you might just need that cash yourself right now!

Regularly take an inventory of the baby bits and pieces and even household items you don't use any more and their condition and consider selling them online. Listing takes mere minutes and the platform takes care of finding you a buyer. Again, a few dollars here and there can make a big difference!

4. Track what you spend

While you might plan a budget and stick to it quite well, it's easy to forget the exact amounts you allocated within that excel sheet or that dog-eared, old notebook.

At the end of each month, try doing an audit -- go through your bank account and receipts and see what you spent.

When we did this activity, we realised some of us, for example, allocated an expected amount for utilities when budgeting at the start of the year and without checking back with our budget, haven't accounted for the fact that some of the bills have actually cost more than expected.

When you are aware of how you have overspent, you can start to manage money better.

5. Be a cheap date -- it's perfectly acceptable!

Life is about living, and being a little skint shouldn't stop that -- in fact, if you have overspent on your house and mortgage at the expense of your life, you may find yourself resenting it for years!

Despite the financial challenge, you need to ensure you keep up date nights, time with friends and other enjoyable activities so your life doesn't just become about budgeting and re-budgeting.

But a date night or an evening with friends doesn't have to cost the earth to be enjoyable.

At the very bottom of the barrel, you can have inexpensive fun on picnics, days at the beach, hikes, or by heading to a pub to partake in free activities like karaoke or bingo.

At the other end, but still affordable, the drive-in movies is a great novelty and is often much cheaper than the usual cinema, an ice cream date after a dinner at home and stroll through a new suburb can be interesting and a conversation starter, and Chinese and Korean restaurants often offer great value if in competitive areas.

6. Can you find some remote work?

If your housebound or your free hours are in the evening, is there an opportunity to find some remote work you can do from home?

As an example, our company has a team of great writers who work remotely and service our clients, providing them regular articles to help them build their businesses. They work any time of the day they wish to, adhere to deadlines and don't need to leave their homes. This can be the perfect way to earn some extra cash!